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||Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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IS MY HUSBAND A SEX ADDICT?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself that may indicate a problem with sexual addiction.
Does my husband have unaccounted for time?
Does it seem as though the household is always short on money?
Are you noticing mood swings?
Are his moods dependent on whether he gets sex or not?
Is there a lack of intimacy with you?
Is there a history of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect?
Does he keep porn around the house?
Are there many arguments over sex?
Does he have an inability to be emotionally intimate?
Sex doesn't appear to satisfy him (wants more right away or there never seems to be enough)?
Does he display strong emotion or erratic behavior when he is said "no" to sexually?
Do you feel alone during your sexual encounters?
Do you feel used, dirty or abandoned after sexual encounters?
Is there a sense of he's got his "fix" and now he's better?
DID I DO SOMETHING TO CAUSE THIS?
No. There is nothing you did or didnt do that caused your husband to fall into sexual addiction. Its not about you and its not about sex.
It wouldnt matter how beautiful, how supportive, how caring, how anything you were. It wouldnt matter how often or in what ways you had sex. We did not cause our husbands to fall into this addiction because we weren't good enough and there is nothing we can do to make him better.
Most of our spouses were first introduced to porn when they were children; the average age of first exposure is 11. By the time most of us met and married our husbands, their addiction was already manifest.
IS IT REALLY AN ADDICTION? ISNT IT JUST SIN?
No one in NLP is attempting to say that sexual addiction is not sin. It is most definitely sin. It is a choice people have made to engage in sinful behavior. But the leadership of NLP suggests looking beyond that. Dr. Patrick Carnes and Dr. Mark Laaser both have books that explain in great detail the addictive patterns of sexual addiction, and why it is called an addiction as well as sin, that you may want to read. As a basic answer, we call it addiction because sex is used much like cocaine or any other drug. It is used to fill a very deep-seated need. And the act of orgasm releases chemicals in the brain that give the person a high almost identical to the high of a drug. Therefore, the body starts to crave, to need the sexual behavior in order to feel normal.
WILL I EVER FEEL BETTER?
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12: 15
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31
In any unpleasant situation, we have a choice. We are free to choose how we respond. We can choose a healthy response or an unhealthy response. We can choose to become bitter or become better. Obviously, in the beginning, were going to intensely feel hurt, angry, betrayed, etc. And thats normal. But in the long run, we have to decide what to do with those feelings. We can let them sit and fester or we can decide to let go of them. If we chose to hang on to all our anger, hurt, and frustration, were going to get bitter, not better. If we feel all those feelings, take them to the Lord, have Him help us deal with them, then were going to get BETTER from the experience rather then bitter. God has an amazing ability to take our sorrows and turn them into joy, IF we allow Him to. We can learn, grow, mature, and become more Christ-like during our worst trials, IF we choose to open our eyes and see the opportunity instead of the obstacle.
WHAT IS CODEPENDENCY?
Codependency is a style of relating usually started early in life and and reinforced through time. We are caretakers and pleasers. We do these things to win love and avoid pain. Many relationships have unhealthy patterns coexisting with healthy ones. The problem is that codependency tends to be progressive, and if left unresolved it will contaminate the healthy love, care and commitment in a relationship.
With regard to sexual addiction it can be seen in placing a filter on a computer in the hopes that this will stop the other's behavior. It can also be seen in searching & seizing any evidence of another's behavior. In other words, the concern over anothers addiction in essence has made that addiction our own.
SHOULD I USE A COMPUTER FILTER?
As we see there are different types of computer filtering systems, there are also varying reasons for using them. Some are healthy and necessary reasons, some are not so healthy reasons. In cases of an active acting-out addict and children in the house, there is probably good need and reason to control what comes thru on a computer, thus necessitating the use of a filter with or without an addict's agreement. In some cases, there may be a need of the filter for legal documentation of the addict's activities on the computer to help with legal issues, or to show danger to child visitation, self, etc. In some cases, addicts themselves will ask for the filter to be there to help them just have an extra little step to stop them from going to destructive behaviors. But sometimes, the use of a filter may indicate that we as spouses are trying to control a persons addiction, or to help us 'feel' safer that our husband can't act out because of a filter. Both those reasons are based on illusion and false hope. We can't control an addiction, we must learn to change ourselves and let God lead us to trust ourselves and Him enough that He will guide us through this with what to do. So when you consider filters, truly seek God to help you ascertain what your true, inner motives are for wanting one on there.
Choosing a Filter
If, after consideration, you decide that you want to install a filter or monitoring system in your household, you will find many options. The most comprehensive, up to date, list of such tools we have found is at GetNetWise. We suggest that you take some time to read some of the general information at their site, then go to their Tools for Families section and search for a list of filtering or monitoring tools that will best fit your needs. They have descriptions of each tool and a contact (web site, address and/or phone number) where you can get more information or purchase it. The descriptions are provided by the maker so they vary from quite detailed to not very helpful - but that tells you something if its publisher doesn't give a very good description of what it does! More helpful is the evaluation from Get Net Wise. They have nice charts that show you what each tool can and cannot do.
Another good reference site is sponsored by the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families at http://www.filterreview.com/. It includes a Search feature as well as a Review section. Their "official" reviews and numerous customer reviews of filters and monitors might help you decide which one is best for your particular situation.
General concepts you need to know before you start searching
There are two general types of software products that will provide some measure of "safety" and they function quite differently. A Filter will actually block access in some way. A Monitor (sometimes called "spyware") does not block the activity but will record or report the activity. Some products can function in both ways.
A client-based filter is a software program that you install directly on your computer. You have control of it, usually via a password. However, your control of what specific sites or words are filtered out will vary widely. Since hundreds of web sites are opened daily, you will want to purchase one that will provide regular updates.
A server-based filter (or "ISP filter") is software which is installed on a host server. Users who connect to the server will only be able to access pages approved by the server's filter. While you don't control this directly, some systems do have passwords with which you can temporarily suspend the filter or procedures for adding new sites you want to block or "releasing" the block from some sites.
The methods with which filters block
A preselected list of sites may be chosen to block. Depending on how the list was compiled or is updated, it might not be as precise as some families desire. Automatically generated will often be less precise than lists compiled and maintained by human. A tricky thing about preselected lists is that they can also miss sites with deceptive URL addresses.
Some filters use human maintained lists. These lists of what should be blocked have been developed by people rather than technology. These tools are unique because the lists of inappropriate content are updated regularly by real people, not computer programs.
Keyword based filters use a list of words deemed inappropriate, such as hateful or violent terms or words frequently used on sexually explicit sites. Some keyword-based filters are designed very carefully, so that when the program encounters a word that might have some inappropriate connotations, like "breast," it doesn't filter the site without first looking at the context; it can allow access, e.g., to "breast cancer" sites. Errors encountered with these filters include blocking sites *against* sexually explicit material or discussing censorship of it because the same "key" words would appear.
These programs do not block access, but record sites that are visited in some way. Some keep a list (of sites, emails, chat sessions, e.g.) while others store screenshots of those activities. Some are installed "invisibly" while others are obviously present on purpose; their presence is intended to serve as a deterrent. Some will have logs emailed periodically to a specified individual while others maintain the logs on the computer itself so you can check them whenever you want to.